April 26, 2010
National MEChA Opposes Arizona's SB 1070National MEChA is opposed to SB1070 in Arizona. Continue reading for the full press release.
National Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán opposes Arizona Senate Bill 1070
SEATTLE, Washington (April 24, 2010) - As National Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A.) we completely oppose the recent decisions made on Senate Bill 1070 by both legislative and Governor Jan Brewer of the state of Arizona. This bill will further suppress immigrants without dealing with the root of the current economic, cultural, and social crises.
This bill fosters an environment that excludes a specific population based on their cultural identity, national origin, and racial appearance. SB1070 is indistinguishable from the Jim Crow laws of the 19th and early 20th century, which intentionally created segregated, powerless, and dehumanized peoples. SB1070 fails to acknowledge this history by, yet again, fostering a second-class citizenry which it achieves through discriminatory race-based legislation and action.
As concerned members of this society and global citizens, the SB1070 is not only an infringement on people's human rights but we believe it is also further deepening the already erupting tensions among the United States of America and the global community. Let it be known that, "Mexico also observes with concern the likelihood of negative effects that this measure may have for the future development of friendship, commercial, touristic and cultural ties that have characterized the relationship between Mexico and Arizona for generations, particularly with the state of Sonora" (Statement of Mexico Embassy). In addition to Mexico's concerns about the SB1070, we believe that the SB1070 can possibly lead the United States into a deeper international conflict with the global community.
The passing of SB1070 will further discriminate against communities of color regardless of documented status. This bill will not create a more secure Arizona instead it will legalize state violence and harassment in communities of color. The unethical privatization of prisons will use this law to fill and expand prisons in order to continue profiting off of the exploitation of our people. We recognize this as a direct attack; not only against undocumented people but also all those who do not share the sentiment of criminalizing people based on skin color.
This piece of legislation imposes fear and dehumanizes our communities. It also goes against life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness granted by the United States constitution and the universal declaration of human rights. According to article two in the universal declaration of human rights, "everyone is entitled to all the rights set forth in this declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." According to article three, "everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."
As National M.E.Ch.A. we are aware that the state of Arizona has taken measures to ensure the rights of its people. Yet in this case, the Arizona state legislature and Governor Jan Brewer do not exemplify or reflect this benevolent action. Instead it violates civil rights and hinders itself in understanding of human rights as a state with the passing of SB1070.
Enacting this law has overlooked the diverse human struggles that all of our ancestors had to overcome in order to immigrate to this nation. We challenge you to ask yourself, "What struggle did my parents, grandparents, etc face in order to become citizens of the United States?" If the answer to this question is non-definitive then you have no basis for creating laws concerning the migration of people.
Furthermore, we feel that the great state of Arizona, while trying to be a leader and at the forefront of immigration and immigration reform, has taken a tremendous leap backwards when it comes to human and civil rights. SB1070 goes against everything the state of Arizona and its people should stand for.
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A.) is a student organization that promotes higher education, cultura, and historia. M.E.Ch.A. was founded on the principles of self-determination for the liberation of our people. We believe that political involvement and education is the avenue for change in our society. To find out more about our organization, please visit: nationalmecha.org.
Kata Cervantes Martinez, Co-Chair
Xuan Carlos Espinoza-Cuellar, Co-Chair